I am participating in a year long Leadership training program that is nearly wrapped up. Last week, I had the privilege (and anxiety) 0f leading one of our monthly sessions. The President, Vice President and Chairman of the Board of our company are part of this program. The topic was Creativity in the Workplace. I imagine this topic may be of interest to some of you and since I’ve already researched it, thought it would be worth sharing.
I started the session with a brainstorming activity focused on finding the most wild/creative idea for what you can do with a paperclip besides hold paper together. This was the ice breaker and a reminder to the group of the rules of brainstorming.
Then I discussed how creativity applies to a corporate environment:
Pros of a Creative Organization
Creativity. Innovation. These are the secret weapons in an organization’s competitive arsenal. In this age of downsizing, overhead reduction and restructuring, a company’s ability to rethink and reinvent how they do what they do has never been so vital to corporate success.
source = http://www.beyondthebox.ca/corporate-creativity-programs.php
Cons of a Creative Organization
Consider the following statement, but instead of thinking globally – apply it to your organization…(bold added by me)
Creative ability may change the world as we know it. Countries that are investing in the creative abilities of their people can expect populations who are more difficult to control. They can expect their populations to develop into free and critical thinkers, who demand answers and improvements and who are impatient for action from bureaucracies or dictatorships. Even as the countries enjoy increased productivity and improved standards of living, they can expect their people to exercise, exhibit, and demand increased independence of thought and action. Their social fabrics will need to stretch to accommodate these changes.
Finally, we finished with another brainstorming activity that was focused on an issue that had been identified in our annual strategic planning session. My selfish part of this? The initiative discussed was the one assigned to me to pursue in 2011. This way I get insight into what the PTB (Powers That Be) think about the initiative they’ve assigned me and the solutions to it.
Finally I assigned homework to each participant that included each person collaborating with 2 other staff members that they’d never strategized or worked with in the past. The point? Creative ideas are available from all levels and groups within a company. How will the leadership tap into those ideas instead of recirculating the same ones from the same old people that are always in those meetings?
What’s your experience with creativity in the workplace?